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How To Wash A Body Pillow

How To Wash A Body Pillow


How To Wash A Body Pillow: A body pillow is not just a comfortable sleep accessory; it’s a trusted companion that provides support, comfort, and a good night’s rest. Over time, though, your body pillow can accumulate dirt, sweat, and allergens, leading to a less-than-pleasant sleep experience. That’s why knowing how to properly wash and maintain your body pillow is crucial to ensure it remains clean, fresh, and inviting.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of washing a body pillow, whether it’s filled with down, memory foam, or another material. We understand the importance of hygiene and comfort when it comes to your sleep space.

We’ll cover various cleaning methods, including machine washing, spot cleaning, and the use of pillow protectors. We’ll also provide tips on drying and maintaining the shape and quality of your body pillow.

Proper care not only enhances the lifespan of your body pillow but also ensures that you continue to enjoy the plush comfort it offers. So, whether you’re a side sleeper, a pregnant mom-to-be, or simply someone who values a good night’s sleep, Tthe world of body pillow maintenance and learn how to keep your sleep companion fresh and cozy.

How To Wash A Body Pillow

Can you put a body pillow in washing machine?

Most body pillows can be machine washed. However, before you do so, it is best first to check the washing instructions. Some pillows need to be washed with cold water only. Also, it is best to dry the pillow on a low heat setting.

Whether you can put a body pillow in a washing machine depends on its size, the materials it’s made of, and the washing machine’s capacity. Here’s how to determine if your body pillow is machine washable:

Check the Care Label: Most body pillows come with care labels that provide washing instructions. Always start by checking the care label to see if it’s machine washable and what temperature settings and precautions to follow.

Size Matters: Consider the size of your body pillow in relation to the size of your washing machine. If the pillow is too large or the washing machine is too small, it may not fit or be cleaned thoroughly.

Material: The type of material your body pillow is filled with can also affect its washability. Some pillows are filled with materials that may clump or become damaged in a washing machine.

Machine Type: Top-loading washing machines with agitators can be rough on large pillows, potentially causing damage. Front-loading machines are gentler and better suited for this task.

If your body pillow is machine washable, follow these general steps:

  • Place the pillow in a large pillowcase or a washable cover to protect it.
  • Use a mild detergent and select a gentle or delicate cycle with cold or warm water, depending on the care label’s instructions.
  • Use an extra rinse cycle to ensure detergent is thoroughly removed.
  • After washing, gently squeeze or press the pillow to remove excess water.
  • Dry it thoroughly, either by air drying on a flat surface or using a large-capacity dryer with low heat.

How do you manually wash pillows?

If You Want to Hand Wash Pillows

Add a tablespoon of liquid clothes detergent per pillow and mix it around in the water to make sure that it is evenly spread. Put the pillow in the water and allow the detergent to seep in. Massage and squeeze the pillow to dislodge dirt and let the water get through each layer.

Manually washing pillows is a practical way to clean them when they are not machine washable or if you prefer a more hands-on approach to cleaning. Here’s how to manually wash pillows:

Check the Care Label: Before you begin, check the care label on the pillow for specific washing instructions. Some pillows may have specific requirements or restrictions.

Remove Pillowcases and Covers: Take off any pillowcases and protective covers from the pillow.

Fill a Bathtub or Large Sink: Fill a clean bathtub or a large sink with enough lukewarm water to fully submerge the pillow. Add a mild liquid detergent designed for delicate fabrics.

Agitate the Water: Gently agitate the water to create suds using your hands.

Submerge and Soak: Place the pillow in the soapy water, pressing it down to fully submerge it. Allow the pillow to soak for 15-30 minutes.

Gently Clean the Pillow: Use your hands to gently knead and squeeze the pillow. Pay attention to any stained or soiled areas, and lightly scrub them with a soft cloth or sponge.

Rinse Thoroughly: Drain the soapy water and refill the tub or sink with clean, lukewarm water. Rinse the pillow by submerging it and squeezing out the soapy residue. Repeat this step until the water runs clear.

Remove Excess Water: Gently press down on the pillow to remove excess water without wringing it, which can damage the filling.

Dry the Pillow: Lay the pillow flat on a clean, dry towel in a well-ventilated area or outdoors in the sun. Turn the pillow occasionally to ensure even drying. This may take several hours or more.

Fluff and Reassemble: Once the pillow is completely dry, fluff it by kneading and gently shaking it to distribute the filling evenly. Place it back into a clean pillowcase and protective cover, if applicable.

How often should you wash a pillow?

If your pillow can be washed, it should be washed at least twice a year. If you eat in bed, have pets, or sweat a lot, you should wash pillows quarterly. Special pillows like body pillows or throw pillows should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months. This is dependent on how, where, and how often they are used.

The frequency of washing pillows depends on several factors, including personal hygiene, allergies, and the type of pillow you have. Here are some general guidelines:

Every 3-6 Months: Most experts recommend washing your pillows every 3 to 6 months. This regular washing helps remove dust mites, sweat, and oils that can accumulate over time. It’s a good routine to maintain overall hygiene.

Allergy Considerations: If you have allergies or asthma, consider washing your pillows more frequently, about every 2-3 months. Allergens like dust mites can trigger allergy symptoms, and more frequent washing can help reduce exposure.

Type of Pillow: The type of pillow matters. Synthetic pillows are typically more resistant to moisture and allergens and may require less frequent washing compared to natural-fill pillows like down or feathers.

Protective Covers: Using pillow protectors or pillowcases can extend the time between washes. These covers are easier to clean and can help prevent sweat and skin oils from reaching the pillow itself.

Spills or Stains: If you spill something on your pillow or notice stains, it’s a good idea to wash it promptly, following the care instructions.

Personal Preference: Ultimately, how often you wash your pillows can also depend on personal preference and comfort. Some people may prefer to wash them more frequently for a fresh feeling, while others may stick to a routine schedule.

What is the easiest way to wash pillows?

Down or feather: Most down pillows can be put in the washing machine. But use cool water and a mild detergent, then dry on low heat. (High temperatures can damage the down.) Memory foam or latex: Washer agitation can break up foam, so these pillows will probably need to be hand-washed.

The easiest way to wash pillows is by using a washing machine, but the specific method depends on the type of pillow you have. Here’s a general guide for washing pillows:

Check the Care Label: Always start by checking the care label on the pillow. This label provides important instructions regarding washing and drying. Follow these instructions carefully.

Remove Pillowcases and Covers: Take off any pillowcases or protective covers and wash them separately according to their care labels.

Balance the Load: To maintain balance in the washing machine, it’s a good idea to wash two pillows at a time. This prevents the machine from becoming unbalanced during the spin cycle.

Use a Mild Detergent: Choose a mild liquid detergent designed for delicate fabrics, as it’s less likely to leave residue on the pillows.

Machine Wash: Place the pillows in the washing machine and set it to a gentle or delicate cycle with cold or warm water, depending on the care label’s instructions. Use an extra rinse cycle to ensure detergent is thoroughly removed.

Dry Thoroughly: After washing, it’s essential to dry the pillows completely to prevent mold or mildew growth. You can air dry them on a clean, dry towel, or use a large-capacity dryer with low heat. Adding clean tennis balls or dryer balls can help fluff up the pillows.

Fluff and Reassemble: Once the pillows are fully dry, fluff them by kneading and gently shaking to redistribute the filling evenly. Place them back into clean pillowcases or protective covers.

How To Wash A Body Pillow

What are the different types of body pillows, and how does the washing process vary?

Body pillows come in various types, each with different materials and constructions, which can affect the washing process. Here are some common types and how the washing process may vary:

Memory Foam Body Pillow: Memory foam body pillows should not be submerged in water or machine washed. Instead, spot clean any stains or spills using a damp cloth with mild detergent. Allow it to air dry completely before using again. Avoid excessive moisture, as it can damage the foam.

Down or Feather Body Pillow: Down and feather-filled body pillows can typically be machine washed, but they require special care. Use a front-loading washing machine on a gentle cycle with a mild detergent. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all soap. Dry the pillow on a low-heat setting with a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to fluff the filling.

Polyester or Synthetic Fill Body Pillow: These pillows are often machine washable. Check the care label for specific instructions, but generally, you can wash them in a front-loading machine on a gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent, and ensure thorough rinsing. Dry on low heat or air dry.

Bamboo or Cotton Body Pillow: These pillows can usually be machine washed on a gentle cycle with cold water and a mild detergent. Tumble dry on low heat or air dry to prevent shrinkage.

Pillow Protector: Using a removable, washable pillow protector can help maintain the cleanliness of your body pillow. These protectors are typically machine washable and serve as a barrier against stains and allergens.

Can I machine wash my body pillow, and if so, what are the recommended steps?

Whether you can machine wash your body pillow depends on the type of pillow and its care instructions. Here are the recommended steps for machine washing a body pillow if it is machine washable:

Check the Care Label: Before proceeding, examine the care label on your body pillow. It will provide specific washing instructions. If it says “machine washable,” you’re good to go.

Remove the Pillowcase or Cover: If your body pillow has a removable pillowcase or cover, take it off and wash it separately according to its care instructions.

Prep the Machine: Use a front-loading washing machine for best results. If you have a top-loading machine without an agitator, you can still use it, but be cautious to avoid damaging the pillow.

Load the Pillow: Place the body pillow in the machine, ensuring it has enough room to move freely. If you have a large or king-size body pillow, it may be better to wash it in a commercial-sized machine or at a laundromat.

Use a Mild Detergent: Add a mild detergent to the machine. Avoid using bleach or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the pillow’s materials.

Select a Gentle Cycle: Choose a gentle or delicate cycle with cold water. High temperatures can damage certain pillow materials.

Extra Rinse: Opt for an extra rinse cycle to ensure all detergent is thoroughly removed.

Dry Carefully: After washing, carefully remove the pillow from the machine. Gently squeeze out excess water without wringing or twisting the pillow. Place it in a dryer with a couple of clean tennis balls or dryer balls to help fluff the filling. Use a low-heat setting, and periodically check for dryness to prevent overheating or damage.

Final Fluff: Once the pillow is completely dry, give it a good shake or fluff to distribute the filling evenly.

How can I remove specific stains or odors from my body pillow?

Removing specific stains or odors from your body pillow can help keep it fresh and comfortable. Here’s how to address common issues:


Protein-Based Stains (e.g., Sweat, Blood): For fresh stains, blot with a clean, damp cloth or sponge to absorb as much as possible. Then, mix cold water with a small amount of mild detergent and gently blot the stain. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Avoid hot water, as it can set protein stains.

Oil-Based Stains (e.g., Makeup, Food): Blot the stain with a clean, dry cloth to remove excess oil. Apply a small amount of dishwashing detergent or a commercial stain remover to the stain. Gently rub the fabric together, then rinse and launder following the care label instructions.

Ink Stains: Dab the stain with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer on a clean cloth. Blot, don’t rub, to avoid spreading the ink. Rinse and launder as usual.


General Odors: To remove odors, sprinkle baking soda on the pillow and let it sit for several hours or overnight. Vacuum or shake out the baking soda thoroughly.

Lingering Odors: If odors persist, consider using a fabric-safe odor eliminator or enzyme-based cleaner, following the product’s instructions.

Sunlight: Sunlight can help naturally freshen your body pillow. Hang it outdoors in direct sunlight for a few hours, as UV rays can help eliminate odors.

Is it necessary to use a pillow protector, and how does it affect the washing routine?

Using a pillow protector is not strictly necessary, but it can significantly benefit your body pillow and affect your washing routine in several ways:

Advantages of Using a Pillow Protector:

Protection: Pillow protectors act as a barrier between your body pillow and potential stains, spills, sweat, and allergens. This helps keep your pillow cleaner and prolongs its lifespan.

Hygiene: By preventing the penetration of body oils, sweat, and other fluids, pillow protectors contribute to a more hygienic sleep environment. This is especially important if you have allergies or sensitivities.

Easy Cleaning: Pillow protectors are easier to remove and machine wash compared to washing the entire body pillow. This simplifies the cleaning process and reduces wear and tear on the pillow itself.

Cost-Efficiency: Replacing a pillow protector is generally more affordable than replacing the entire body pillow, making it a cost-effective investment.

Effect on the Washing Routine:

Using a pillow protector can streamline your washing routine in the following ways:

Less Frequent Washes: With a protector in place, you may not need to wash your body pillow as often, as the protector can be removed and washed separately.

Reduced Stains and Odors: Because the protector guards against stains and odors, the pillow itself stays cleaner, reducing the need for deep cleaning.

Extended Pillow Lifespan: The protector helps preserve the pillow’s integrity, potentially extending its usable life.

How To Wash A Body Pillow


Understanding how to wash a body pillow is a valuable skill that not only keeps your sleep companion clean but also contributes to a healthier and more comfortable sleep environment. Whether you have a memory foam, down, synthetic fill, or other type of body pillow, the proper care and maintenance can make a significant difference in its longevity and performance.

Regular cleaning helps remove allergens, odors, and stains, ensuring your body pillow remains inviting and supportive. Remember to always check the care label and manufacturer’s recommendations, as different pillow materials may require specific care.

Using a pillow protector is a wise choice as it acts as a shield against stains, spills, and allergens, reducing the frequency of deep cleaning and extending the life of your body pillow. Spot cleaning, gentle machine washing, and thorough drying are key steps in the washing process, and these should be done with care to prevent damage to the pillow’s materials.

Incorporating these practices into your bedding routine not only maintains the hygiene and freshness of your body pillow but also enhances the quality of your sleep. A clean and well-maintained body pillow not only provides comfort but also peace of mind, knowing you’re resting in a healthy sleep environment. So, embrace the practice of proper pillow care, and enjoy the comfort and rejuvenation it brings to your nightly slumber.


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Sophia is a creative and passionate entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Bubble Slides, a rapidly growing company that designs and produces innovative and eco-friendly children's water slides. She continues to innovate and improve her products, always keeping in mind the well-being of children and the environment.

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